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  #1421  
Old Posted Jun 13, 2006, 5:02 AM
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I'm glad to hear things are going well for you guys overall, Chris! You will be in my thoughts for sure.

Here is something interesting. Go Harrisburg!!!

NEWS INFORMATION FROM THE OFFICE OF MAYOR STEPHEN R. REED
City of Harrisburg
King City Government Center
Harrisburg, PA 17101-1678
Telephone: 717.255.3040

FOR IMMEDIATE USE
12 June 2006

BEACH BOYS TO HEADLINE 2006 AMERICAN MUSICFEST LINE-UP

Mayor Stephen R. Reed today announced that the Beach Boys will perform in a free, live concert in Riverfront Park as part of the city’s upcoming American MusicFest held over the July 4th Holiday weekend. The Beach Boys headline more than 250 hours of free, live music by nearly 60 different musical and other acts. Over 300 local, regional and national entertainers will be presented by the city during the extended, four-day festival, which begins on Saturday, July 1, and concludes with the region’s largest holiday fireworks display, set for 9 p.m. on Tuesday, July 4.

Reed said the Beach Boys will appear live in concert on the Comcast Star Stage in South Riverfront Park from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, July 4. The concert is free and open to the public, who are invited to bring blankets or lawn chairs to watch the show. In the event of rain on July 4th, the concert will be rescheduled for the following evening, Wednesday, July 5th, from 6 to 8 p.m., as will be the Grand Finale Fireworks, set for 9 p.m.

The Mayor said the quality of the musical line-up for this year’s MusicFest is outstanding, and in addition to the Beach Boys, features such popular headlining artists as the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra(Saturday, July 1, 8- 9:30 p.m.); Tito Puente, Jr.(Sunday, July 2 – 8-9:30 p.m.); The Marvellettes(Monday, July 3 – 5:30–7 p.m.); and the Classic Rock All-Stars, featuring members of Iron Butterfly, Rare Earth, Sugarloaf and Cannibal & The Headhunters(Monday, July 3-7:30 – 9:30 p.m.). All of the headliner shows are on the Comcast Star Stage in S. Riverfront Park, and are free and open to the public with festival-style seating available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Because of the extended holiday weekend, Mayor Reed said there will also be five consecutive nights of fireworks along the waterfront, thanks to a holiday weekend homestand of the Harrisburg Senators. Fireworks displays will occur each evening beginning Friday, June 30, through Monday, July 3, following the conclusion of each evening’s Senators’ game. The festival-concluding Grand Finale fireworks display are set for 9 p.m. on Tuesday, July 4th, with a raindate of the following evening, same time.

Reed said the American MusicFest is the largest Independence Holiday Weekend Festival in the midstate, with over 130 separate performances on six stages. Dozens of food and other amusement vendors will also be on-hand, including the popular Belco Children’s Village, where games, activities, puppet and other theatrical performances, and music occurs.

The Mayor said the entire festival, including all of the musical performances, is free and open to the public and will be held rain or shine. In addition to the activities in Riverfront Park, an array of events and activities, including nightly Senators’ games, are slated for on City Island. All of the Island’s vendors and other attractions will likewise be open.

Reed said other notable performers slated to appear at this year’s American MusicFest include: Salsamba; Joanne Shenandoah; Ubaka Hill, The Sauce Boss; The Crawdaddies; Ayanna Hobson and the Soulmates; The Jellybricks; Rock Dog; Brave The Day; The Mint; Voxology; CD East Jazz Band; St. Lawrence Adult Tamburitzans; the Julie Schriber Band; Darcy Miner and Parallex Project; Cruise Control; Red Room; Naked Blue; Red; Hollis; Charles Lee & Band; Jambulay; Lareau; The Impact Band; Chopped Liver River Band; Mike Banks; and many more.

The Mayor said the American MusicFest is planned, produced and sponsored by the City of Harrisburg with the generous support of dozens of cosponsors. Providing support this year are Advanced Communications, Ambassador Home Improvements, Bath Savers, BELCO Community Credit Union, Big Brothers-Big Sisters, Blue Green Corporation & The Suites at Hershey, Capital Blue Cross, Citadel radio stations 105.7 The X, MIX 106.7, and RED 102.3, Citizens Bank, Coca Cola, Comcast, Dauphin County Human Services, Dauphin County Young Lawyers, FastSigns, Flinchy’s Restaurant, WPMT Fox 43, Great Eastern Resorts, Harrisburg Hilton Hotel and Towers, Innovative Spas, Nextel Communications, One Wireless World, Patriot News, Schopf Brothers, Scott’s Grille, T-Mobile and W&L Distributors.

For a complete listing of American MusicFest performances and times please call the city Department of Parks and Recreation at (717) 255.3020, or visit the official website at www.AmericanMusicFest.org, via the city’s website at www.HarrisburgPa.gov.
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  #1422  
Old Posted Jun 14, 2006, 2:01 PM
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Typical PA: mismangement of the borough leads to heavy taxation which leads to businesses leaving your jurisdiction! No, I don't think HIA can and will go anywhere, but Cramer's is a different story.

And $4.88 MILLION in collected taxes and the airport still cries for money from time to time?!? LOL get real...

*And somebody's math is WAY off here, because 10% of $4.88 mil. is not $48,000-$50,000.

Good Lord, what a mess...


Ruling favors tax on HIA parking

Middletown schools win support on fees dispute
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
BY REGGIE SHEFFIELD
Of The Patriot-News

A Dauphin County judge says the Middletown Area School District can tax parking at the Harrisburg International Airport, while school officials still pledge to share 10 percent of the proceeds with the airport.

In March 2005, the school district suggested imposing a 10-percent tax on those who park at the airport. HIA officials immediately moved to block it, claiming the tax would be unfair.

In a 66-page decision released late yesterday afternoon, Judge Lawrence F. Clark Jr. overruled arguments from airport attorneys that municipal bodies aren't supposed to tax each other.

"We're very pleased," said Middletown Area School District superintendent Audrey L. Utley.

"It's a win for the taxpayers of Middletown," she said.

The Middletown Area School Board likely will discuss the issue Monday night.

Clark acknowledged in his opinion that the school district could not legally compel the airport to collect a tax for the district, but urged both parties to work together.

"Obviously, this court hereby strongly encourages these parties to adopt a combined single transaction process for collecting the tax so as not to burden the departing parking patrons," Clark wrote.

The school district's attorney, Jeff Litts, said school officials are willing to turn over 10 percent of their proceeds to the airport for costs HIA incurs in collecting the tax.

Litts estimated that would amount to between $45,000 and $50,000 a year.

HIA director Frank Testa declined comment on the decision.

"I gotta see the whole body of the opinion," said Testa, who is an attorney.

Airport attorney Tim Nieman similarly declined comment, saying that he had not had a chance to review the opinion.

School district officials have estimated that they are missing out on the 10 percent of $4.88 million in parking fees collected by the Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority in 2004.

Similar taxes have been in effect at airports in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and the Lehigh Valley, district officials have argued.

The school district also seeks to tax the adjacent Cramer Airport Parking, a private business.

State Attorney General Tom Corbett in September filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against the airport authority, accusing it of seeking to acquire Cramer Airport Parking to create a parking monopoly around HIA.

SARAA launched its effort to take Cramer by eminent domain in March. The property has been appraised at $1.57 million.
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  #1423  
Old Posted Jun 15, 2006, 1:23 AM
Spudmrg Spudmrg is offline
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Just dropping in......was in another city much like 'da burg recently, and DT was dead after 5 PM. HBG should be very verythankful for 2nd street, it's one of the few things that gives people an incentive to stick around past 5 PM.
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  #1424  
Old Posted Jun 15, 2006, 2:47 PM
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I agree, Mike!


A Lemoyne awakening

Leaders hope shops, restaurants, streetscapes redefine borough

Wednesday, June 14, 2006
BY DEBRA MASSIC
For The Patriot-News

Lemoyne is on the verge of big changes. Consider new sidewalks, improved street lighting, increased off-street parking, enhanced store frontages and variety in housing options.

Add also a plan to improve pedestrians' safety with crosswalk signs and better traffic flow.

All hinge on $945,000 in state and local grants, but officials are proceeding with confidence that the borough will receive the money.

"We consider ourselves the gateway to the West Shore," said council President James Yates at a recent council meeting. "We need to look good, we want to look good, we will look good."

Officials said residents should see more trees, flowers, shrubs and lampposts on Market, State and Third streets as early as fall. Paving of these streets is expected in the next two years.

The borough has secured a few retailers for Market Street and hopes to encourage more, especially along the stretch where a building was torn down after a fire. A museum, coffee shops, restaurants, art galleries and bookstores are among the businesses officials would like to attract.

Borough Council recently added a revitalization committee, which has generated positive public response.

"In the 20 years I've been involved with this council, we were happy to see eight to 12 people in the audience," Yates said. "At the revitalization meetings, we've seen three times as many people interested. It's really exciting. We hope to keep the stimulation going."

Resident Tom Beene said the focus of the revitalization committee meetings has become clearer in the last few months.

"It's wonderful to see cooperation between the local government and community folks," he said. "I'd like to see downtown, around Third and Market streets, open up with more places, so people stop in Lemoyne rather than just drive through it. It is realistic."

The changes would be financed with six grants and help from Cumberland County Housing and Redevelopment Authority's Executive Director Chris Gulotta. Officials have applied for a $25,000 Growing Greener II grant through Cumberland County for preliminary streetscape plans and a parking study.

The largest grant would be $500,000 from the Hometown Streets/Safe Routes to School grant program, to be used for street lights, trees and more.

The five themes Gulotta and the borough are focusing on are: an attractive community, a connected community, a defined community, a community of the old and new and a diverse community.

"We're going to hit the ground running," Gulotta said. "We have six grant opportunities for the borough to bring in about $1 million."

The borough will work in conjunction with Wormleysburg, Camp Hill and New Cumberland on things such as walkways and bicycle routes.

"We recognize the value in creating a sense of place that is Lemoyne -- a local and regional destination," Gulotta said.

IF YOU GO

The Lemoyne revitalization committee meets at 7 p.m. the fourth Monday of every month in the borough building, 665 Market St.
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  #1425  
Old Posted Jun 18, 2006, 12:39 AM
wrightchr wrightchr is offline
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^ that's really great. i was just driving through lemoyne and wormleysburg the other day on the way back from my parents home in camp hill. the downtowns definately need some aesthetic improvements.
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  #1426  
Old Posted Jun 18, 2006, 12:58 AM
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LeMoyne!

Good things are in store!

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  #1427  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2006, 3:13 PM
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SWATARA TWP.

Derry Street slated for widening

Monday, June 19, 2006
BY MARY KLAUS
Of The Patriot-News

Motorists traveling on Derry Street between 50th and 61st streets are used to sitting in traffic.

"From 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Derry Street is like a big parking lot," said John Bottiglia, owner of Billow's TV & Appliance at 6100 Derry St.

"You can't move. Traffic backs way up as people try to cross the Rudolph Dininni Bridge to go to Wal-Mart and Sam's Club," he said.

Officials say those traffic jams could ease after the state Department of Transportation adds a center turning lane to Derry from 50th to 61st streets.

Greg Penny, a PennDOT spokesman, said the $1.2 million project involves widening Derry Street by 16 feet on the railroad side between 50th and 61st streets and adding an 11-foot wide left-turn lane and a five-foot wide shoulder.

The project also includes milling or removing the old asphalt surface, then paving an overlay on a 1.6-mile section of Derry Street between 42nd Street and 61st Street.

J.D. Eckman, Inc. of Atglen, the contractor, had planned to start construction by mid-May and finish by the end of the year, although the official completion date is May 18, 2007.

"The contractor is being held up by sewer work that needs to be completed by the township sewer authority," Penny said.

Scott Snoke, Swatara Twp. Sewer Authority assistant superintendent, said the township will open bids Wednesday for what he called "extensive" sewer line work.

"We are replacing old sewer pipes and manhole covers from 42nd to 50th street," he said. "Then, after PennDOT resurfaces from 42nd to 61st streets, we will make sure all our manhole covers are at the right height."

Swatara Twp. Commissioner Tony Spagnolo, who represents the Lawnton neighborhood, said he has been waiting for this project for years.

"I remember submitting a traffic scheme like this to PennDOT at least 14 years ago," he said. "This will make Lawnton safer."

Erin Plank, manager of Ice Cream Heaven at 5890 Derry St., and Tina Polychronis, manager of Promenade Family Restaurant at 5290 Derry St., agreed.

"Traffic backs up every day, especially from 3 to 4:30 p.m.," Plank said. "I've seen two rear-end accidents where one car was stopped to turn and the next one plowed into theirs. A turning lane would help the people who want to turn off Derry Street."

Polychronis said her business is on a section of Derry Street which curves.

"There are a lot of accidents because someone stops to turn and someone else turns into their car," she said.

Bottiglia said the project should be extended to 63rd Street instead of stopping at 61st.

"Cars congregate there to cross the bridge to go to Wal-Mart and Sam's Club," he said. "They also need to make the traffic light at Grayson Road and Mushroom Hill Road green longer. The Wal-Mart traffic backs everything up and creates a back flow that goes the whole way down Derry Street. They have proposed only half a solution."

Bottiglia said traffic has gotten worse over the past two years. "Our roads cannot handle the traffic." he said.
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  #1428  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2006, 3:25 PM
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I sure hope it doesn't come to this!


HARRISBURG SCHOOLS

Dire warning sounded over cash shortfall

Tuesday, June 20, 2006
BY JOHN LUCIEW
Of The Patriot-News

The Harrisburg School District's planned no-tax-increase budget has a dark side.

It is based on getting $20 million more in state aid than is contained in Gov. Ed Rendell's budget proposal. If the extra money doesn't come through, the district could face teacher layoffs, program cuts, larger class sizes and even school closings.

"All the gains we have made in the school district would be lost," Superintendent Gerald Kohn said yesterday.

Kohn said he is upbeat about the chances of getting the extra money because of an expected $720 million state budget surplus.

He has ruled out a tax increase to support the proposed $134.7 million district budget for 2006-07, saying property taxes are too high already.

The budget is up for final adoption next week.

If the extra state money does not come through, there could be deep cuts, including as many as 132 of Harrisburg's 761 teaching positions and elimination of the early childhood program for 3- and 4-year-olds.

Elementary school class sizes would balloon from an average of 22 students to 35 to 40, officials warned.

About 42 of the district's 113 administrative positions also could be lost -- office secretaries, information technology workers, principals, program directors and coordinators.

The district said it would eliminate the dozen city police officers in the schools and about 10 of its 40 security guards.


Preparing for the worst, the district's Board of Control voted unanimously last night to authorize Kohn to notify affected employees of the possible furloughs.

"We don't anticipate doing this, but we are prepared," Kohn said.

Richard Askey, president-elect of the Harrisburg Education Association, the teachers union, described his members as "very concerned" about the prospect of job losses -- so much so that an end-of-school teacher picnic turned into an impromptu union meeting.

Askey said union leaders urged teachers to call their state lawmakers and push for the extra state money.

The district's lobbyist, Roy Wells, president and managing director for Triad Strategies, said yesterday that he's pressing the case at the Capitol.

The district's pitch has three key points: Harrisburg's slow but steady improvement in state test scores, its large percentage of tax-exempt properties and resulting high real estate taxes, and its large proportion of students who receive free or reduced-price lunches, a key measure of poverty.

For two years, Harrisburg has been successful in obtaining an extra $8 million in state funding for its alternative education program. However, the additional money has come in the form of grants that must be renewed each year.

Wells said the district this time is pushing for the added money to be included in its basic education subsidy so school officials can rely on it from year to year. If the effort is successful, Harrisburg's annual state subsidy would increase from about $36 million to $56 million.

A similar effort last year fell $12 million short of the $20 million goal, forcing more than $9 million in cuts in Harrisburg's operating budget.

Next year's proposed $134.7 million spending plan represents an 8.5 percent increase over the present $124.1 million budget.

Kohn said the increases are driven by an additional $2.6 million in debt service for school construction, $5.2 million for rising salary and benefit costs, and $1.5 million for retirement funding and special-education contracts.

JOHN LUCIEW: 255-8171 or jluciew@patriot-news.com

HOLDING STEADY

# The Harrisburg School District's real estate tax rate would remain at 21.23 mills for 2006-07, meaning the owner of a home assessed at $100,000 would continue to pay $2,123 in school property taxes. A mill equals $1 per $1,000 of assessed value.
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  #1429  
Old Posted Jun 21, 2006, 12:21 AM
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^Terrible
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Go PITT Panthers!!
Ohio Proud!
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  #1430  
Old Posted Jun 22, 2006, 1:43 AM
wrightchr wrightchr is offline
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wow...this sucks.
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  #1431  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2006, 3:20 PM
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HIA

Midstate to get daily flights to Dallas hub

Friday, June 23, 2006
BY DAN MILLER
Of The Patriot-News

Daily nonstop flights from Harrisburg International Airport to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport will begin Sept. 7.

American Eagle, the regional affiliate of American Airlines, will offer the flights on 70-seat Canadair regional jets.

Passengers flying out of HIA will be able to make connecting flights to more than 120 destinations served by Dallas/Fort Worth, including cities throughout the Southwest, Mexico, the Caribbean and South America, said Dave Jackson, a spokesman for American Eagle.

American Eagle has had good success with its four flights a day from Harrisburg to Chicago, Jackson said.

"It's a growing market," he said. "We see a lot of opportunity for traffic on it."

This is the first time an airline that uses HIA has provided service to Texas, HIA spokesman Scott Miller said.

"Dallas/Fort Worth is the largest hub in the United States for American Airlines," Miller said. "We've been working on this for a year and a half."

An American Eagle plane will leave Harrisburg at 7:05 a.m. daily and arrive in Dallas/Fort Worth at 9:25 a.m.

A daily return flight will leave Dallas/Fort Worth at 4:15 p.m. and arrive in Harrisburg at 8:15 p.m. All times are local.

Miller said HIA will roll out a marketing campaign throughout July and August to promote the service to Dallas/Fort Worth.

Reservation and ticket information about the service is available at the Americans Airlines Web site, www.aa.com.

The Web site yesterday listed a lowest average round-trip fare of $334 for a flight leaving Harrisburg on Sept. 7 and returning from Dallas/Fort Worth on Sept. 9. Fares are subject to change.
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  #1432  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2006, 3:50 PM
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It's only, what, 2006?!? LOL But I guess better late than never!

And this article highlights some VERY important things like A) the region is finally working together and B) ridership is way up! I am a little leery of putting so much stock in buses, though, as they sit in the same traffic jams the rest of the commuters do, and this is even further proof IMO that CorridorONE, CorridorTWO, etc., will be a great success!


York area commuters make jump to buses

Drivers tired of traffic, rising gasoline prices hop on rabbitExpress

Saturday, June 24, 2006
BY DAN MILLER
Of The Patriot-News

Veronica Ulrich is enjoying lower gasoline bills and less stress.

She started using a new bus service this week that is offered by rabbitExpress, a division of York-based rabbittransit. The York County woman commutes to downtown Harrisburg every day.

On Monday, rabbitExpress began the service, which includes six round trips each weekday from the York area to downtown Harrisburg and Harrisburg Area Community College. The one-way fare is $3.

The black rabbitExpress buses feature satellite television, but Ulrich said she is too busy catching up on reading to notice. She arrives in Harrisburg early enough for a workout before she has to be at her job in the state inspector general's office.

"I really hate driving on Interstate 83," Ulrich said Thursday while waiting for the 5:10 p.m. rabbitExpress bus for a return trip to the Emigsville park-and-ride lot. "My knuckles would be white, my teeth chattering, and my stomach lodged in my throat from watching people trying to kill each other."

The service has been in the works since 1999, said Richard Farr, executive director of rabbittransit.

The bus company had projected the service would be used by about 50 passengers daily. Farr now estimates daily riders at 60 or more.

"We think it's only the beginning," he said.

Capital Area Transit views rabbitExpress as an opportunity, not a competitor, said CAT Executive Director Jim Hoffer. CAT allows rabbitExpress to use its transfer center at Second and Market streets in Harrisburg.

"This could mean some additional business and new customers for CAT," Hoffer said. "I see this as a win-win for the citizens, for rabbittransit and for CAT."

Farr said rabbittransit also is following up on Hoffer's suggestion for a joint transfer pass.

RabbitExpress riders can use credit cards on the bus to buy fare cards and discounted multitrip passes. Farr said the company wants to sell tickets online.

Rabbittransit is working on a commuter-alert system. Text messages would be sent to passengers' cell phones at a bus stop to alert them that a bus is delayed.

The service includes a free ride home if there is an emergency and a customer cannot wait for the next bus.

As for CAT, it has had 28 straight months of ridership exceeding the same month in the year before. In May, CAT's average daily ridership was 22 percent higher than in May 2005, Hoffer said.

He attributed the increase to higher fuel prices and new routes.
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  #1433  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2006, 3:54 PM
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It could be a GOP ploy to get Reed out of city

To vote for Mayor Stephen Reed or any other candidate for world mayor, go to: www.worldmayor.com.

Saturday, June 24, 2006
BY JOHN LUCIEW
Of The Patriot-News

After you've been elected mayor of Harrisburg seven times and counting, what else is there?

How about mayor of the world?

According to the Web site WorldMayor.com, Mayor Stephen R. Reed is in the running for that title.

To win, Reed will have to beat out 49 other mayors who made it through the initial phase that saw 677 mayors from around the world get nominated for this year's award.

The Web site said it registered 53,000 votes from all over the world in the first round of the 2006 World Mayor contest. According to the Web site, the project is run by an organization called City Mayors, which describes itself as "an international network of professionals who work together to promote strong cities."

Reed finds himself in competition with mayors from Antananarivo, Madagascar, to Zurich, Switzerland. Nominees include New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.

The World Mayor project is in its third year. As before, this year's contest is seeking mayors with "vision, passion and skills to make their cities amazing places in which to live, work and visit," according to the Web site.

Previous winners were Dora Bakoyannis of Athens and Edi Rama of Tirana.
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  #1434  
Old Posted Jun 25, 2006, 2:09 PM
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IMO this just goes to show, yet again, how little our federal government cares for its people.


HARRISBURG AWAITS A COURTHOUSE SITE IN LIMBO

Sunday, June 25, 2006
BY JOHN LUCIEW
Of The Patriot-News

It's the kind of development most cities would dig out their golden shovels for, all the better for the ceremonial ground breaking.

It's a $100 million investment that would employ hundreds and attract scores more doing business. It is expected to spawn a spate of businesses, everything from eateries and coffee shops to copying centers.

There's just one catch: This project is a federal courthouse for Harrisburg, and the U.S. government is calling virtually all the shots when it comes to locating, designing and constructing the 263,000-square-foot building.

Mayor Stephen R. Reed, usually a shepherd of development in the city, has seen both of his suggested locations -- tracts on North Sixth and South Second streets -- rejected by the feds.

A chorus of community complaints has surrounded all three locations selected by the U.S. General Services Administration last year. The sites are at Verbeke and North Sixth streets, North Sixth and Basin streets, and North Third and Forster streets.

All have homes and apartments. The Third Street site includes businesses, clubs and restaurants, along with historic structures. The buildings would have to come down to make way for a courthouse to replace the one at Walnut and Locust streets, mainly to meet security requirements.

A five-member panel is expected to pick its "preferred site" by the end of July, GSA spokeswoman Gina Gilliam said. That recommendation will go to a GSA regional administrator for final approval.

All of this is to be done by the end of summer.

"My life's on hold," said Mike Billo, owner of row houses at 805 and 807 Green St., both of which would be taken for the courthouse. He said he has postponed renovating his rental unit and refurbishing his roof.

"You feel like you are in limbo," he said.

Controversy appears certain:

The GSA's decision almost assuredly will be controversial.

Does it bulldoze the diverse and historic neighborhood a stone's throw from the Capitol? Will it force about 100 mostly minority residents out of subsidized apartments at Cumberland Court? Or does it oust about 140 elderly and disabled people from the Jackson-Lick public housing tower?

Another question remains: What, if anything, will this mix of government investment and relocation pain do for the city's overall growth and development?

Such concerns might not matter, said experts who have followed the federal process.

"Typically, urban planners look at the development of the city and try to gain economic benefits from developing different areas," said David Zwifka, executive director of Historic Harrisburg Association, a preservation group. "That's not what comes first with the federal government."

The needs of the courthouse and its employees do, Gilliam said. But she said the GSA looks to "promote community development."

The GSA wants at least 21/2 acres for a building of eight to 14 stories, along with enough land to allow 50- to 100-foot security setbacks.

The GSA was going to consider only locations downtown. Because of Harrisburg's population density and flood plains, Gilliam said the agency explored 25 sites in the city.

This single concession could be the biggest break for future development in Harrisburg, said retired architect Martin Murray, formerly the head of Murray Associates Architects of Harrisburg.

The federal process led to two of the possible sites being situated north of Forster Street, the boundary for what's considered downtown.

Murray described Forster Street as "a wall" that has limited Harrisburg's growth to the north. The barrier was buttressed by monolithic state buildings, he said.

"They were like slabs that said, 'This is the end of the downtown,'" Murray said.

That the U.S. government is considering two tracts north of Forster could be a development boon of the magnitude of Strawberry Square and the office tower at 333 Market St. in the 1970s, Murray said.

"You have to lead with office buildings," Murray said. "That brings the people. It creates the traffic."

For that reason, Murray said he'd favor either option on North Sixth Street. The demise of the Jackson-Lick towers would be addition by subtraction, he said.

"They were badly conceived in the first place," he said. "I wouldn't shed a tear."

Seeking the 'least harm':

Reed has said Jackson-Lick is the alternative that would do the "least harm." Only one of the towers is occupied. Reed's office has said relocating its 140 residents would be easier than moving those in Cumberland Court.

Reed also sees the potential for further economic development north of Forster Street.

"Regardless of whether they choose Jackson-Lick or Cumberland Court, we expect the new courthouse to have a very substantial economic spinoff impact on the surrounding blocks and neighborhoods," said Randy King, Reed's spokesman.

"Neighboring property values are most assuredly going to be profoundly impacted for the better," he said.

The opposite is true of the Third and Forster site, according to Reed's office. King calls the proposal "simply unacceptable."

Yet GSA officials have expressed misgivings about Jackson-Lick, saying it is the most expensive option because the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development would demand replacement costs for the lost units. The GSA also has concerns about crime there.

Whichever site is chosen, the GSA is promising assistance in relocating residents. People won't have to move for at least two years, with construction scheduled to begin in 2009 and end in 2012, Gilliam said.

That's little solace to Elizabeth Washington, 80, a resident of Jackson-Lick.

"We're too old to be moving about," she said. "It's got the old people all upset. They've taken no interest in us. They're only interested in what they want to do. All they can do is tear down."
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  #1435  
Old Posted Jun 25, 2006, 2:19 PM
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CAPITOL AREA NEIGHBORS

MIKE BILLO, 50, owns row houses at 805 and 807 Green St. and has lived at 805 Green St. for 19 years. Both will be taken if a courthouse is built. "I love the convenience. I work for the state, I worship at St. Patrick Cathedral, I work out at the Y. I'm used to walking."

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Its fiercely loyal residents say it's the last real neighborhood downtown, this mix of turn-of-the-century town houses, eateries and clubs.

"The unique thing about this neighborhood is that it is a neighborhood," said Ronn Fink, 70, co-owner of the Bare Wall, a crafts-and-video gallery. "Everybody knows everybody."

He then greeted several people by name as they strolled past his shop.

His building on the west side of Green Street would be spared. No matter. He said the plan to take residences and businesses between Third and Green and North and Forster streets would destroy the neighborhood he has safeguarded since moving here in the 1960s.

It's a mix of gay and straight, owners and renters, clubs and sidewalk cafes. Many buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places.

Among the establishments that would go are the St. Moritz jazz club, Roxy's Cafe, Mangia Qui restaurant and Stallions, a gay nightclub. Even the U.S. government noted the impact, reporting that there's no obvious alternative spot for Stallions.

Residents realize the value of their corner of the city a block from the Capitol and are prepared to fight.

Signs are posted in almost every window: "A Courthouse Is Not a Home," "Fight or Move!" The area has its own activist group, Capitol Area Neighbors.

"Someone's always interested in building something here," Fink said. "Can't they see that this is what life in the city should be?"

************

JACKSON-LICK APARTMENTS

MADELINE AUSTIN, 84, has lived in the Alton W. Lick apartment building at North Sixth and Basin streets for 17 years. "I hope they don't take it. After you've done fixed up your room and gotten comfortable, you hate to move."

Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Jackson-Lick apartments are twin towers of monolithic public housing dating back to 1960. Their design is outmoded, and Jackson, the larger, northern tower, is vacant.

But the 12-story Alton W. Lick Building is home to 146 residents, most of them elderly or with disabilities. And many don't want to move.

"I will live here," Velya Monuson, 79, said in a thick Russian accent, banging his cane on the sidewalk for emphasis. This has been his home for 16 years.

"All the people who live here would vote no," he said of the courthouse. "They're old. They're disabled. They have illness. One has no vision. This is a good place for them. It is very ideal."

What the brick-and-concrete tower lacks in beauty, it makes up for in amenities, residents said. On nice days, they sit on the benches and look onto North Sixth Street. There's a bus stop out front. Across Sixth is the Broad Street Market. Next door is Ben Franklin School and a swimming pool. Children at play provide background noise.

The Harrisburg Housing Authority runs the building and keeps it clean and secure, residents said.

Madeline Austin, 84, said a deacon from her church picks up her lady friends for services uptown on Sundays. They have someone they trust to run to the bank and the store.

"If you move somewhere else, you have to find someone honest," she said. "You can't find honest people everywhere you go. We all have one another, and we hate to leave one another."
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  #1436  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2006, 7:36 PM
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with regard to the new federal building, i was in favor with the mayors proposals downtown within the southern gateway. but obviously the GSA has no clue what their doing....that said, i hope they decide on the Jackson/Lick site along 6th/7th streets. it's not far from Forster Street and the Capitol Complex and it's close enough to the Midtown market district to make a large impact on the vibrancy of Midtown, as well as impact Downtown. a modern 8-14 level building would definately look better than the housing stock of Jackson/Lick...especially since only one of the towers is actually in use.

thanks for keeping up to date on this Dave.
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  #1437  
Old Posted Jun 26, 2006, 10:00 PM
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No problem, Chris! I am curious to see what site the feds pick. If they pick the historic district, I am guessing a group of lawsuits would block the buildng for a while and I would be fighting along side of the residents/business owners even though I don't live there anymore; one more voice can't hurt...

I am deeply, deeply saddened by the federal gov't and there are much better options being offered to them...options that wouldn't displace people!
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Old Posted Jun 27, 2006, 2:59 PM
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I have mixed feelings on this, because look what happened to Williamsport!


Drug detoxification center planned

Tuesday, June 27, 2006
BY FORD TURNER
Of The Patriot-News

Four hundred opiate-addicted people, from welfare recipients to professionals who make $200,000 a year, visit the drab-looking building on South Cameron Street on a regular basis.

Discovery House, Harrisburg's only methadone treatment program, soon might take on a greater role in combating drug addiction in the midstate.

It has filed for state approval to run a detoxification center -- a separate function from long-term methadone care -- where addicts in the physically wrenching early stages of opiate withdrawal can be treated.

"There is probably room, especially in the Harrisburg area, for more programs," said Cheryl Floyd, executive director of a Harrisburg-based treatment advocacy agency, PA Recovery Organizations Alliance.

A typical client at a detoxification center might be in heroin withdrawal after years of use, vomiting, sweating, shaking and unable to think clearly.

"It's horrible, nasty," said Nate Knaub, a recovering heroin addict, referring to the "dope sickness" experienced when a heroin habit is halted abruptly. "It's not something you would wish on your worst enemy. Your head feels like it is going to split open."

Knaub, who graduated from Lower Dauphin High School in 2000, said, "When you are a full-fledged junkie, you feel like that every morning until you score."

Treatment for opiate withdrawal involves medicine and oversight by doctors. Pennsylvania has 32 non-hospital, inpatient detoxification centers. Three are in the midstate: Gaudenzia in Harrisburg, New Perspectives in Lebanon and Roxbury in Shippensburg.

Deb Beck, president of the Drug and Alcohol Service Providers Organization of Pennsylvania, said there should be a detoxification center within a 90-minutes drive of every Pennsylvania resident.

A parent, she said, might have no idea what to do with a teenager or young adult going through withdrawal. A "myriad of physical complications" can occur, she said, including seizures.

Detoxification centers are licensed by the state Department of Health. Department spokesman Richard McGarvey could not specify when the process would conclude for Discovery House's application, but he said, "It won't be long. They know what they are doing. We have experience with them."

In Pennsylvania, treatment episodes for people addicted to heroin declined less than 2 percent in the latest year, to 20,668, following a jump of 25 percent from 16,811 in 2002-03 to 21,043 in 2003-04.

Heroin was the second-most-prevalent drug of choice among people entering drug treatment centers in the latest year, after alcohol.

Short-term narcotic detoxification might take up to 30 days. Afterward, recovering addicts usually are steered to long-term programs.

Discovery House has operated a methadone treatment program on South Cameron Street for about 12 years, according to Juan Deas, the program director.

Methadone is a manmade substance with chemical qualities that block an opiate high. A recovering addict taking methadone daily will get no rush from taking street drugs, Deas said.

Clients agree to stay in the program for at least a year. They pay $100 a week.

"These are people who are at the end of their rope," Deas said. "There is nothing else left. Either death or long jail sentences."
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  #1439  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2006, 3:14 PM
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Jobless rate rises

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Harrisburg-area unemployment rate inched up to 3.9 percent in May, from 3.8 percent in April. A year ago, the area jobless rate was 4.1 percent.

The Harrisburg area -- Cumberland, Dauphin and York counties -- continued to have the fourth-lowest unemployment rate in the state.

The Lebanon area had the lowest rate last month, at 3.6 percent, while the State College and Lancaster areas each had unemployment rates of 3.7 percent.

The York-Hanover area unemployment rate was 4.2 percent in May.

The statewide unemployment rate in May was 4.8 percent and the national rate was 4.6 percent.

The number of jobs in the Harrisburg area totaled 332,600 in May, an increase of 3,700 from April and 5,400 more than a year ago. The April-to-May increase was higher than normal because of the addition of more goods-producing jobs.

Manufacturing jobs in the Harrisburg area totaled 24,700 in May. That was up by 200 from April, but down 500 from a year ago.

Leisure and hospitality jobs increased by 2,000 from April due to seasonal hiring.

The average manufacturing wage in the Harrisburg area totaled $16.18 an hour in May, compared with the statewide average of $15.37. The average manufacturing work week in the area was 38.8 hours, compared with 41.1 statewide.

***********

HARRISBURG UNIVERSITY

Accreditation move might boost enrollment

Tuesday, June 27, 2006
BY JOHN LUCIEW
Of The Patriot-News

A stamp of approval for the Harrisburg University of Science and Technology should help it boost enrollment in its second year.

The Middle States Commission, which rules on college and university accreditation, has approved Harrisburg University as a candidate for accreditation in the university's first year of operation, Mayor Stephen R. Reed and university officials announced yesterday.

Typically, this candidate status occurs in the second year, Reed said. Final accreditation takes four years, after the first undergraduate class graduates, he said.

Candidate accreditation status opens the doors to Harrisburg University students being eligible for a wider range of loans and grants, as well as tuition reimbursements, including the Pell Grant program offered by the U.S. Government, university officials said.

In addition, the Middle States Commission provides an independent assessment regarding the university's academic program.

"This represents an important benchmark in our growth as a private comprehensive university," said University President Melvyn Schiavelli.

Schiavelli said Harrisburg has enrolled about 110 students for the fall, equal the number of its inaugural class last Aug. 29 and guaranteeing the university will double in size.

But with Harrisburg University attracting many transfer students and older adults, it's looking to build enrollment over the summer, a time when other universities have finished recruiting, spokesman Steven Infanti said.

Toward that end, the university is holding an admissions night from 6 to 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at the campus, 215 Market St. A second admission night is scheduled for July 11.

Infanti said the event would be a chance for students to speak with university officials about academic programs and financial aid.

The university has received about 250 applications and attracted more than 600 student inquiries this year, Infanti said.

As an incentive, students enrolling for the fall semester beginning on Sept. 5 are eligible for a $3,000 scholarship and might be able to get other scholarships, loans or payment plans. Harrisburg High School graduates can get $2,500 scholarships in addition to the other funds.

Harrisburg University is the first comprehensive university chartered in Pennsylvania in more than 100 years. It focuses on advanced studies in math, science and high technologies, offering full- or part-time enrollment, day or evening classes, and undergraduate and graduate studies.


Here's another article about it on the city's site:

http://www.harrisburgpa.gov/pressRel...20achieves.htm
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  #1440  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2006, 11:06 PM
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Well I just received a phone call and apparently we moved out of Shipoke in the knick of time, as it is about to be underwater AGAIN!

http://www.harrisburgpa.gov/

And here is the sad part in all of this: a few months before we moved we noticed a lot of homes going up for sale but they weren't selling. I just spoke to my old landlord the other day and he said one of the houses is actually going to auction because it sat on the market for so long! With a devestating flood in '04 and now AGAIN in '06, I highly doubt people are going to want to buy there now. Now stop for a second and add the Southern Gateway Project into the mix...will Shipoke still be desirable with all of these factors working against it? If so, will ins. companies continue to insure such a high risk place? Very, very doubtful and I fear HBG will be losing one of its treasures very soon. I don't think the city will let it toally go down the drain mind you, but I HIGHLY doubt it will remain the neighborhood it is now in the years to come. Very, very sad.
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